Here, ITV’s Economics Editor Daisy McAndrew explains why she’s looking forward to the Royal wedding and anchoring the news.
Daisy McAndrew missed the last Royal wedding because she preferred to have a day out riding her pony. But this time she knows better, and will be sharing the big day with an estimated four billion people, as she broadcasts live for ITN.
The blonde Economics Editor, ITV News, and soon-to-be news anchor, is keeping quiet about where she’ll be stationed on the 29th, but admits: "I’ll be somewhere out there with the crowds, talking to people. At the last Royal Wedding my mum and dad drove down the Mall and were so excited and told me how amazing it was, I really regretted that I’d chosen to go to Pony Club instead of being in the car with them.
"I’d hate to think I tweeted anything really daft. You have to be careful
not to go too far but sharing your human side is fine as long as you
don’t give the impression you think you’re more important than the
story, and a you don’t get too obsessed with it"
"They had a river keeper friend who’d taught Prince Charles to fish, and they elected to be his chauffeur for the day because you can have an official chauffeur. I thought Pony Club would be a lot more exciting. I was only nine, but at least this time, 30 years later, I’ll be in the right place."
Daisy, married to Sky News producer John McAndrew with two young children, four-year-old Milly and Daniel, three, has a strong, clear style and has proved a big hit at ITN. She is now edging towards being the next household name alongside newsreaders Julie Etchingham and Mary Nightingale.
"I do quite a lot of weekend and lunchtime news reading and was meant to start anchoring the news this month but there’s so much going on with the economy brief at the moment that I’ll be on this a while longer."
Daisy, a daily tweeter with nearly 6,000 followers, is clear about the boundaries between being a news presenter and becoming the story herself, and reckons, cheekily, that the ITN newsreaders are much more careful not to ‘show an ankle’ than their BBC counterparts. In others words, they’re far more discreet.
Known for her spunk, and even dubbed the 'blonde assassin' after ending the career of her former employer - the then Lib Dem leader Charles Kennedy - by exposing his drinking problem, Daisy said : "News people are different to pop stars or actresses, we don’t become household names. ITN newsreaders in particular stick to news and we’re all pretty comfortable with that. We’re a small news team covering a lot of news, and there isn’t a lot of extra time.
"Twitter is an amazing new phenomenon and incredible news resource. If you ignore it you’ll get left behind. I was reading the News the day the US Senator Gabrielle Giffords was shot and I saw it on Twitter long before it was on our news wires. To me that was a real lesson in how things have changed.
"I’d hate to think I tweeted anything really daft. You have to be careful not to go too far but sharing your human side is fine as long as you don’t give the impression you think you’re more important than the story, and as long as you don’t get too obsessed with it."
Just 39, Daisy admits she’s started to feel old, or older, as well as describing herself as ‘flying the flag for the larger lady on TV’. She’s brought in a rather meagre prawn and pineapple salad for her lunch, but instead of sticking to a diet, she pleads with the editors to cut out all ‘bum‘ shots of her.
"I’m always saying to the editors, No bum shots, and they’re always chuckling," she confesses. "I know it would be easier if I went on a diet. You don’t see many big bottoms on the telly.
"People think everybody on TV is a size six supermodel shape, but
some of us have ordinary shapes and hopefully something to say for
Thirty-nine next month, and Daisy says she’s started to feel old because for most of her career she was pretty young for what she was doing. The battle over ageism in the BBC has gripped her and her colleagues, and the catch phrase now is that all the women are unsackable.
"Its only recently dawned on me that I’m now not young anymore," she smiles. "The ageism issue around Miriam O’Reilly’s case was a really important moment in TVs history but it will take a long time to judge how successful it’s been.
"When Miriam won her case, it was the first time a really big case had been tried, tested and won. In the US they’ve had that legislation for 20 years. All the big networks there have considerably older women fronting their programmes, and I think that’s the way we will go. But they’ve also had 20 years to find those women, the right women who can stand up to criticism.
"There’s a whole rebalancing which will inevitably happen over next 10 years. A lot of broadcasters think they’re just giving the public what they want, but the public doesn’t know that they might quite like a 62- year-old woman reading the news because they haven’t had it before."
By Sharon Feinstein